Controversial move aims to reduce traffic and improve air quality; charge to the public will be applicable to more cars, too
6 July 2018

Transport for London (TfL) is removing the Congestion Charge exemption for private hire vehicles in a slew of air quality improvement and congestion-busting measures. 

From 8 April 2019, the Congestion Charge will apply to all private hire vehicles emitting more than 75g/km of CO2 and with an electric-only range of less than 20 miles, if the legislation is pushed through. The plan will go into consultation in the days to come, but is expected to come to fruition.

Also from 8 April 2019, the Ultra Low Emission Discount will be replaced by a Cleaner Vehicle Discount, which brings the standard for entering the Congestion Charge zone for free from Euro 5 to the same threshold of 75g/km of CO2 and 20-mile electric-only range, cutting eligibility of the current London fleet by around 10%. This is a direct attempt to push people into plug-in hybrid and electric cars, with the threshold to be further tightened to electric cars only in 2021.

Alex Williams, TfL’s city planning boss, said: “The Congestion Charge has had a real impact on improving London’s roads for all since it launched 15 years ago. However, over that time, the availability and standard of low-emission vehicles has greatly advanced and the number of private hire vehicles entering the zone during charging hours has rocketed. It is only right that we keep the discounts and exemptions for the scheme under review to make sure it continues to be effective.”

TfL makes no secret that the move is aimed at cutting the number of private hire cars on London’s roads, with a 45% reduction in private hire cars mooted by TfL research. This would reduce congestion and, consequently, emissions, according to the organisation. 

The move is seen by some as taking advantage of private hire drivers, since black cabs will still be exempt, due to laws banning drivers from refusing any journey less than 12 miles. GMB union professional drivers secretary Simon Rush saying: “We at the branch always suspected that TfL would bring out a consultation on removal of our Congestion Charge exemption as yet another way to cover the shortfall of their income as central government has removed a large amount of funding.”

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The charge will cost private hire drivers for firms such as Uber up to £57.50 a week, because cars that fall outside the threshold will now have to pay £11.50 per day to enter the zone. 

Read more:

Volkswagen rejects £2.5 million congestion charge payments

New Toyota Prius CO2 figures push it over Congestion Charge exemption zone

Variable pay-per-mile charge for London under consideration

London Congestion Charge-free cars

Electric LEVC TX taxi launched in Germany as company plans global expansion

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Comments
11

6 July 2018

Cash is the only reason, you can kill if you pay, LMFAO!!!

7 July 2018
JJ BLADE wrote:

you can kill if you pay,

That's an accurate statement actually. What exactly has Khan done since he became mayor? He criticised Boris for now doing enough to combat pollution, but he is equally as guilty for the lack of change. Where is the charging infrastructure? There are thousands of streep lamps in London that could simply be converted to destination chargers, but he's done nothing. He's attitude; If you want to kill people, then pay £50 a week, please.

6 July 2018

Surely it should apply to all vehicles including black cabs which are probably one of the worst poluters. 

6 July 2018
d79m wrote:

Surely it should apply to all vehicles including black cabs which are probably one of the worst poluters. 

Exactly. Uber still operates, black cabs still finding it difficult to fleece anyone not a tourist .... back to the underhand tactics through their mates at TFL. Still, most Uber are plug in Prius which will not be hit. It will get the part time Uber using their own car and dodgy minicabs ... so you will now just have minicabs ruling outside the zone and Uber in it.

7 July 2018
d79m wrote:

Surely it should apply to all vehicles including black cabs which are probably one of the worst poluters. 

exactly but people would still rather use Uber

6 July 2018

Great ruling, bring it on. But it mustv apply equally to all. No more protectionist favours for the outdated Black Cab trade. It's a bit like Trump trying to protect Coal from renewables.

 

 

6 July 2018

Would be much better for everyone and everything (well maybe not revenue raising) if updated emissions equipment was retrofitted to ALL ICE vehicles.

6 July 2018
Does autocar uk bars negative comments about a car company (which bdw may be true and as told by the magazine/website itself) coz autocar india does they filter and dont upload ur comments which may be against there view( smell paid news ) u may read their 2nd hand renault kwid review in which they say it stalls without any reason and is unsafe but still we advice to buy it what the hell r u promoting death beds ????

7 July 2018

If TfL really cared about traffic congestion then they would implement limits for the number of private hire cars and black cabs allowed on the road at different times of the day.

They would also get rid of all of the bus lanes.

7 July 2018

As it's a CONGESTION charge, don't see why fully electric cars don't pay something as well...

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